619282_largerWhen it came time to choose our Game of the Week this week, there was a bunch of good games to choose from, but we had to go for the surprise mobile release of one of the biggest franchises in video games: Call of Duty. But just being a Call of Duty title isn't why we picked Call of Duty: Strike Team [$6.99], rather it was due to the novel way that Activision approached making their game more conducive to a mobile experience.

Call of Duty is no stranger to the App Store, as way back in late 2009 Call of Duty: Zombies [$4.99 / $4.99 (HD)] was wowing gamers with a standalone mobile version of a popular bonus mode from the console game Call of Duty: World at War. It offered arena-style survival FPS'ing that could be enjoyed cooperatively with friends locally or over the internet. A sequel followed a couple of years later, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies [$6.99], but unfortunately it didn't quite have the same impact of the first game.

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Call of Duty: Strike Team, like its iOS predecessors, is based off of the previous year's major console Call of Duty release, in this case Black Ops II. However, instead of simply porting a single mode from the console game and calling it a day, Strike Team is more of an actual Call of Duty game with its own storyline and characters. More importantly, it features a really interesting mechanic that allows you to jump between first-person view and a top-down view. This is really what makes the game successful as a mobile title, as we explained in our review:

As a CoD game, Strike Team has a few elements up its sleeve that show that it really was designed for mobile. In addition to the standard first-person shooter mode, Strike Team allows players to switch to a birds-eye third-person tactical view that lets you direct your squad with simple move and attack commands. While FPS mode is what you'd expect on a touchscreen (complete with virtual buttons galore), tactical view is an excellent addition that works really well on the touchscreen. Even better, both modes are always available, meaning players can easily switch between them at a moment's notice.

This leads to a great deal of supplemental strategy that isn't even found on console CoD games. Tactical mode lets you see all visible enemies at the same time and also provides the opportunity to initiate flanking techniques, retreat orders, and stealth commands. The fact you can instantly switch to FPS means when the going gets tough, you can start taking out enemies on your own without having to rely on the AI. The game's relatively short missions also make the game very approachable in bite-sized chunks.

While still not perfect, Call of Duty: Strike Team is a great example of how to take a game that is designed for the physical controls of a console or PC and rethink how you can deliver a similar experience on buttonless touchscreens. Playing in first-person mode will still be finicky for those who aren't completely comfortable with touchscreen FPS controls, but the addition of the top-down tactical mode feels like the way the game was meant to be played the most anyway, with hopping in and blasting some bad dudes in first-person more of a supplemental element.

However you choose to play Call of Duty: Strike Team, the bottom line is that it's a decidedly solid and entertaining experience, worthy of your time and our pick as Game of the Week.

  • Louis Ace

    Guess I'll pick this one up then.

    • Fablalous

      Don't be surprised if Gameloft releases a new game...Modern Combat:Tactical team.

  • sbirksy666

    Having tons of fun with this game :) already completed it and now working on medals and veteran mode :)

    Survival is a little too easy :) there's a spot on every map then you can just wait and rack up the kills :) plus the auto snap aim makes it very easy to get headshots :)

    Haven't really made much use of the top down view but I think I might play the campaign solely in that mode unless it needs to be FPS

  • defunct32

    9 bucks for my country, is this worth it?

    • YoungSinatra

      Yes, Very.

  • CalebHall1

    I was surprised by score on the review, now I'm even more surprised. I'm gonna wait for a price drop though. TA hurry up and review arma tactics and do a comparison between it and breach&clear!

    • sbirksy666

      Check the forums celab :) am sure there's tons of forum users who have made comparisons between the two games :) don't have to wait for a TA review

    • boxedninja

      It's Activision and Call of Duty; I wouldn't expect a price drop.

      • Jake7905

        ....at least not for a while.

  • ChaosProdigy

    No multiplayer and higher than $5 = not interested.

    Id be willing to pay $20 if it had multiplayer

    • sbirksy666

      Your loss it indeed a great game :)

      If anything the multiplayer I would like to see is co-op missions :) make it some special maps where one player is the top down view and the other player is FPS :)

      Top down view marks out the enemies, lays down pathways which also can be seen and followed by the person on the ground

      top view can also put symbols on enemies heads as to which can be stealth stabbed and things like that

      • ChaosProdigy

        A solo FPS without a multiplayer just doesn't appeal to me personally. Where is the end game for $7 ?

        No thanks

      • Topbeast

        OMFG. Stop complaining, if you want multiplayer play any COD on xbox or ps3.

      • drewpoc

        To have the portability and quality in this game, it fills the void of online quite we'll in my eyes ;)

      • toxiccheese

        Lets see, a solid single player experience on mobile for $7 or a $60 investment that requires you sit at home in front of the TV. Both sound like a great deal to me!! Seriously, it's damn cheap for what you get. If you are only basing your opinion on price, then you are missing out on a great experience.

      • madreviewer

        I would like that too, and I would like they had put the sliding effect

    • mutts

      Erm strange logic $5 and no multiplay is no buy, but $20 with multiplay is buy !?
      Thrn again your los. This game is an excelent example how a AAA title should be on mobile platform.
      Even with a new element wich actually works great. Something activision should have done along time ago with this franchise tbh.

  • RamazAdelphos

    Omg I knew CoD would be game of the week...... I'm still sticking with Arma Tactics for my game of the week!

  • Mekklesack

    sweet!

  • rewyan

    I don't think it was worth it for seven dollars plus huge IAP options, I feel like it's a small spinoff just to make money.

    At least it's a decent game though,

    • rewyan

      Activision could have made any crappy game and stuck the popular title on it, and it would've sold well.

  • Xissoric

    It's times like these I wish I had better than an 8gb iPod.

  • Cwhals

    17+ only

  • drewpoc

    Great game

  • Gustav

    So you didn't care about the users' votes? They clearly voted for Junk Jack X...

    • mutts

      Wake up that was game of the week a week a go!

      • Gustav

        My apologies, time flies by...

  • workingman

    Excellent game, the first FPS on the App Store that I can actually play. The controls are great although I would love to have this on my shield

  • Maniacfive

    Im really really enjoying this. Not sure if its devouring battery because its battery intensive or whether im just playing it loads. :D either way its very smooth on iphone 5 and hasn't crashed at all.

    Being able to switch between FPS and tactical is a stroke of genius and im enjoying it a lot more than i have any other FPS on iOS because of the ability to switch. Thus far its had all the big CoD moments you'd expect, slow mo shooting galleries after a breach, AC-130, on rails helicopter gunship moments. And I've only completed the first theatre of operations. Seriously great game for £4.99

  • http://www.minecraftjuegos.com/ Minecraft Juegos

    I like it. I will share with my friends. I hope that many people also have hobby the same as me.

  • icepulse

    Please, all: One simple question.

    Can I pause the action in 3rd-person mode and issue commands?

    Thanks in advance!

    • mutts

      No, i don't think you can.
      You can however switch between teammates.
      Sofar the only command in 3rd person you can give is to your team is to move up to your current position.
      When you pause the game you go to the menu.

  • icepulse

    Aww.

    Thanks a lot for the quick reply.

  • jarland

    Well this is quite a treat. It's very well crafted to fit a mobile environment. Too often are games described in such a way that don't live up to it. This one delivers.

  • hourglass

    It's a decent game, but there is a lot it lacks.

    1) The usual COD range of weapons is completely missing.
    2) No attachments.
    3) Your unused squadmate is completely worthless.
    4) The top down view isn't really any good, that really only works for turn based tactical games.
    5) Controls suck. (That will hopefully change with the release of iOS 7, which allows for controllers.)
    6) No saving in the middle of levels, which means that if you die, you start the level all over again.
    7) A lot of things are stuck behind a pay barrier, which is messed up because I ALREADY PAYED 7$ FOR THIS GAME.

    All in all, this game is not worth picking up yet. It doesn't even feel finished.

  • hourglass

    Why can't I just use my TouchArcade account to reply to this? Why the hell do I need a Disqus or any other account?